Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Cambridge, MA

Headquartered in Cambridge, the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) serves as Novartis’s global research organization. Housed in what was once home to the historic NECCO candy factory, the NIBR today is a world-class 500,000‑squrare‑foot research center. With a state-of-the-art facility and a location that benefits from the deep pool of scientific talent available from the distinguished academic research institutions in Boston and Cambridge, the NIBR has created a strong foundation for the organization’s long-term success in Massachusetts. To continue this momentum Novartis embarked upon a 65,000‑square‑foot expansion of its facility to house additional technical space, as well as ground-level retail and restaurant space, contributing to the revitalization of its Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood. With a long, thin, challenging site, Novartis turned to VHB for a creative design solution.

Working with the project’s architect, VHB provided site/civil engineering, surveying, and utility design services. Drawing on our proven track record with the City of Cambridge, we designed a streetscape that adhered to the Massachusetts Avenue Improvement Initiative. We also provided LEED® certification design coordination and support. The new NIBR building provides a primary gateway into the Novartis property from Massachusetts Avenue while maintaining a view corridor to the restored former NECCO boiler house.

The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research is seen from across Massachusetts Avenue. A view of the gateway into the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research at dusk.


  • Novartis


  • Construction Monitoring

  • Land Survey

  • LEED

  • Permitting

  • Site/Civil Engineering

  • Utilities Design